Real People Changed Lives

Throughout the August Bank holiday week we held a number of events around Brighton and at the church as part of our Real People changes lives week. We were really please to have the opportunity to meet so many people and get to know them a little.

The events held included Coffee Mornings, A Fun Day on the Level, Authentic Chinese Cookery workshop and on the Sunday we held an open evening where some of the members of the church told us how their lives had been changed by Jesus.

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Book Review – JC Ryle Holiness

A real spiritual classic! I quote from the authors introduction: “The immense importance of adorning the doctrine of God our saviour and making it lovely and beautiful by our daily habits and tempers has been too far overlooked. Sound doctrine is useless if it is not accompanied by a holy life. It worse than useless it does positive harm it is my firm impression that we need a thorough revival in scriptural holiness.”
From the chapter of Sin Ryle comments: “For my part I am persuaded the more light we have, the more we see our sinfulness, the nearer we get to heaven the more we are clothed with humility. I am convinced that the first step towards attaing a higher standard of holiness is to realize more fully the amazing sinfulness of sin.”
Other chapters include: Sanctification, holiness, the fight, the cost, growth, assurance, Moses an example, Lot a beacon, a woman remembered, Christ’s greatest trophy, the ruler of waves, The Church which Christ builds, visible churches warned, Loves thou me? Without Christ, Thirst relieved, Unsearchable riches, wants of the times, Christ is all, extracts from old writers.
Overall this book has so many highlights, and is a real spur to pursue holiness.
Buy the book here

Prayer for Revival

A group of Christians from several churches gathered at Ebenezer on Saturday 9 April to pray that God would revive his church in this country. Pastor Steve Packham of Southern Cross EvangIMG_0504 (1)elical Church spoke about how as a young man he had gone to a meeting to encourage evangelism. As he and his friends came out they were fired up to start going out to talk to people about Jesus. They decided they couldn’t do it straight away as they had commitments and then it was Christmas so it would be a very busy time sot it would be best not to bother people until after that. The upshot was nothing ever got done. His point was that the church in general has no zeal or urgency to reach the lost. We are surrounded by people who need the Lord but we are mostly concerned with our own lives.

 

John’s Story

I was born in Southwest London in 1962 and did not grow up in a Christian family, in fact I went to Sunday school twice whilst a young boy and found it very boring and never went again. I left school at 16 with no real qualifications and as I had been in the army cadets for three years I signed up to serve in the British Army.

During my 13 years in the army I served several tours of duty in Northern Ireland during the conflicts. I also served in the Falklands War in 1982 and first Iraq war (Desert Storm). In 1991 I left the army and began my civilian life.

I met the most wonderful girl in the world in 1996 and four years later in 2000 was going to marry her. My life was complete, or so I thought.

Three months before we were due to get married I came home from work one evening and found my wife to be in bed with my best friend. My whole world fell apart. After throwing my friend out I sat down and spoke to my fiance and she confessed that she had been having an affair with him for three months. That was it; the end of the relationship.

Two weeks after the split I took 50 paracetamol tablets and tried to slash my wrists. I didn’t want to live anymore.

Although I survived my suicide attempt I lost the plot and I stopped going to work. This caused me to fall into rent and council tax arrears and in August 2000 I found myself homeless when I was was evicted from my council flat.

I slept rough in different areas all over London using day centres to keep clean to get close washed and to get affordable food. I used to go to food handouts in London the majority of which will run by Christians. One evening 8 April 2001 I was invited to attend an evening service at Southwest London in your church In Putney by a team from that church that provides food every Sunday under Waterloo Bridge. I agreed to go that is a purely selfish reasons as I wanted to warm on that freezing cold and wet Sunday evening.

I sat in the assembly hall of the school where the service was held and when the worship team began playing we all stood up to sing. Much to my amazement I was singing along to “Come now is the time to worship”. I am normally very conscious of the fact that I can’t sing so this seemed very odd to me as I don’t normally sing in public. The next song was “My Jesus my Saviour” and again I was singing along but felt something staring in me but did not know what it was. By the end of the service I felt

at peace, something I had not felt for so long. The time of ministry was held at the front of the church and anyone who wanted prayer could go forward for it. I watched as people went forward and eventually I went forward and got prayed for and gave my life to the Lord that night.

I eventually got off the streets in April 2002 and moved to a shared house run by Kingston Churches Action on Homelessness and I was baptised on 12 December 2002.

I found my faith at the age of 39 and have had the privilege of serving the Lord in youth work as a street pastor and thank God I found my faith when I did or may not be alive today.

Book Review – Knowing God

KNOWING GOD by J.I PACKER
Review by Timothy Denning
This books speaks of the importance of really knowing The Lord  and outlines several different aspects of this.
Through his word; God is understood in terms of what the Bible tells us. Always it is stressed that the claim of the word of God upon us is absolute, the word is to be received, trusted, and obeyed, because it is the word of God the king.
Other aspects include The Grace of God, God  the Judge, The wrath of God and several other characters and aspects of God.
The author says we can never know enough about God this book really helps and sets you on the path way were you want to read the word more and more and ask the Lord to reveal himself to you.

Book Review – Meet the Puritans

 
JOEL BEEKE AND RANDALL PEDERSON
 
A real labour of love which took the authors around ten years to write! The book gives a brief history of English Puritanism, detailing the important historic facts, biographies of English, Scottish and Dutch puritans, also book reviews of works that have been published over the last fifty years. These men sought to live lives for the glory of there saviour , they had many struggles and lived through turbulent times.
Here follows a review of Andrew Gray:
Regarded as a burning light by thousands who heard him preach, his knowledge of the Christian experience was wonderfully extensive, he knew well the joys and troubles, the helps and hindrances. George Hutcheson spoke of him as a spark from heaven. The Lord gave him remarkable power of probing the conscience, he could make people’s hair stand on end.
A review of his Sermons: Loving Christ and fleeing temptation:
These sermons are comforting to the regenerate, arresting the backslider, inviting the unsaved, and unmasking the hypocrite. Christ all was the beginning, middle and end of all the sermons.
This book has been written in a devotional manner and whets the appetite for you to read many of the fine books mentioned, a real triumph in so many ways.

Book Review – Sovereignty of God

SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD by AW PINK 
 
The author asks who is regulating affairs on earth today-God, or the Devil? He then lays out the glorious gospel truths by explaining Gods sovereignty defined, God in creation, in administration, salvation, reprobation, operation, human will, human responsibility, sovereignty and prayer, our attitude towards the doctrine, difficulties and objections, the value of the doctrine.
In summary after reading this great book we can rejoice in the Lord’s sovereign will and purpose in our lives, and this should breed great peace and assurance of God’s presence in our lives.
Also, if you buy one of the latest editions you will also can read the will of God, the case of Adam, John 3 v 16 meaning of Kosmos, and a brief exposition of 1 John 2 v 2.

JEHOVAH TSIDKENU

(The Lord our righteousness, the watchword of the reformers)
I once was a stranger to grace and to God,
I knew not my danger, and felt not my load,
though friends spoke in rapture of Christ on the tree,
Jehovah Tsidkenu was nothing to me.
I oft read with pleasure, to soothe or engage,
Isaiah’s wild measures and John’s simple page
But e’en when they pictured the blood-sprinkled tree
Jehovah Tsidkenu seemed nothing to me.
Like tears from the daughters of Zion that roll
I wept when the waters went over his Soul
Yet thought not that my sins had nailed to the tree
Jehovah Tsidkenu-twas nothing to me.
When free grace awoke me, by light on high
Then legal fears shook me, I trembled to die
No refuge, no safety in self could I see
Jehovah Tsidkenu my saviour must be.
My terrors all vanished before his sweet name
My guilty fears banished, with boldness I came
To drink at the fountain, life-giving and free
Jehovah Tsidkenu is all things to me
Jehovah Tsidkenu my treasure and boast
Jehovah Tsidkenu I ne’er can be lost
In thee I shall conquer by flood and field
My cable, my anchor, my breast plate and shield
Even trembling the valley, the shadow of death
This “watchword” shall rally my faltering breath
For while from life’s fever my God sets me free
Jehovah Tsidkenu my death-song shall be.
Robert Murray M’Cheyne

Testimony – Penny

I first realised that I needed to be right with God in 2002, it was at a house with some friends, they were talking about what it is to be a Christian and I suddenly understood that I was not a Christian, it was then that I first began to seriously seek the Lord.  It took some time before I came to believe that I was saved, but over the last year I have felt a closeness with the Lord that I had not previously felt.

 As a young disabled woman I had a lot of anger about my disability, I wondered why the Lord had made me this way, but since I have come to trust in His grace and His goodness I have learned to accept my condition and now seek to glorify God in and despite it.  By His grace I recently came to Ebenezer Reformed Baptist Church, and through the preaching of Gods Word I have learned (and am learning more and more) to accept my disability, I have come to understand that no matter what state I am in, His grace is sufficient, and His love, which is shown to me through the Lord Jesus Christ is without bounds.

 My devotional life has improved dramatically, at the moment I am studying Psalms 23 and, as you would expect, I am finding a great deal of comfort in that Psalm, especially v4: yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me, Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me. It is good to know that wherever I am Jesus is with me, He is my Good Shepherd (providentially, after giving this testimony to Tony the visiting preacher preached on this very psalm).

 As far as my salvation is concerned, I am sure that I am trusting the Lord Jesus and nothing else.  I want to be Baptised so that I can walk in obedience to His Word, I am less frightened at night, and I feel more of His closeness.  From the age of 8 I have wanted to be Baptised, now I am sure that it is both the time and that it is the right thing to do.  Every day He teaches me more and more, He is teaching me – Thy will be done – in my own life.

Far from being bitter about my condition, I now understand why I am here, He wanted me to exist, He planned me before time and has always had a plan for my life, one where I would come to love Him, and He has had His hand on my life from the day I was born. He wanted me to exist, and He wanted me to be His own, and by His grace alone this has come to pass. I am still a sinner, but I am a sinner saved by His grace and kept by His love.  I am convinced of these things, that they area true work of God in my life, and I want to serve Him as best I can and to the glory of His name.